A Russian helicopter has been blasted out of the sky by Ukrainian forces using a British missile for the first time.
Dramatic footage shows the moment the Mi-28N is hit by the Starstreak in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine.
The Starstreak is the world’s fastest surface-to-air missile and can travel at three times the speed of sound.
Ministry of Defence sources said it’s the first time the missile has been used to bring down a Russian plane.
In the video, the chopper can be seen skimming the treetops before it’s hit in the tail by the Starstreak.
The missile can be seen lifting off through the trees towards its target.
The rear part of the helicopter then bursts into flames and comes off as the helicopter plummets to earth.
Other footage shows the aircraft wreckage strewn across a road as it’s inspected by Ukrainian troops.
The two crew onboard the helicopter were reported to have survived being shot down though it’s unclear if they were captured by the Ukrainians.
Defense sources who examined the video of the Russian helicopter coming down reportedly believe it was as a result of a Starstreak.
A British-made Starstreak missile is understood to have shot down a Russian helicopter in the weapon’s first use in Ukraine – as Kyiv said Russia has lost nearly 18,000 troops since the start of its invasion.
Footage shows a Russian Mi-28N helicopter being shot out of the sky in the Luhansk region, almost cut in two as its tail is struck by the portable missile.
The Starstreak system is a laser-guided missile that travels at more than three times the speed of sound, designed to take down low-flying jets and attack helicopters.
The cutting-edge system fires three tungsten darts towards its target, and the projectile cannot be ‘spoofed’ by aircraft flares and counter-measures as it is not heat-seeking, instead relying on a twin laser-guidance system.
Britain has sent thousands of NLAW and Javelin anti-tank missile systems, as well as the Starstreak missiles, and body armour, helmets and boots for Ukrainian forces.
The video emerged as Ukrainian troops are continuing to advance against retreating Russians near Kyiv, British defence officials confirmed today.
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